Custer wrestlers runner up at Burke-Gregory

Ron Burtz

Coming off their victory at the Bill Young Invitational in Custer on Dec. 3, the Custer High School wrestlers hit the snowy road for Gregory on Friday for Saturday’s Burke-Gregory Invitational and came away with second place. Custer scored 132 points to finish second behind the host team, which scored 173.
In the process the Wildcats had three tournament champions, three second place finishers, three in third place and another trio in fourth.
The champion in the 106-pound weight class was eighth grader Riley Scott, who scored 22 points for his team and is now 6-0 on the season. Scott drew a bye in the quarterfinals and then went on to pin his opponents in the next two matches in 1:16 and 51 seconds.
Teammate Tray Weiss won his first place match at 113 by pinning Moxon Fox of Burke-Gregory in a 1:20 to score 20 team points. Weiss is also undefeated so far this season.
The other champion was 170-pound Parker Noem, who also scored 20 points. Noem defeated Kade Braun of Burke-Gregory in the semifinals by fall in 1:34 and won an 11-4 decision over Levi Stover of Stanley County in the match for first place. He also has a 6-0 season record.
Taking home second place honors were Landon Woodward (126), Pierce Sword (132) and Braden Weiss at 145 pounds.
Finishing in third for Custer were 113 pounder Connor Owens, Leighton Sander at 120 and 182 pounder Sterling Sword.
The fourth place finishers for the Wildcats were Tyler Trant at 106, Kai Rusch at 132 and Lane Geisner at 160. Geisner scored eight points for his team.
Lyman High School finished third in the tourney with 117 points followed by Miller-Highmore-Harrold (94), Stanley County (42), West Holt (30), Hill City (21) and Andes Central-Dakota Christian (7).
Head coach Jared Webster said he was disappointed that several of the major teams he was hoping to see dropped out of the tournament but added, “I think we’ll get to see them later on in the season.”
Webster said he was also happy for one more opportunity for his wrestlers to get on the mat and to see some great competition like Burke-Gregory and Stanley County.
In spite of a slower start to the season due to some weather-related cancelations, the Wildcat wrestlers are getting the attention of wrestling fans statewide. Dakota Grappler released its first Class B ratings of the season over the weekend and Custer was ranked seventh in the state. In addition, Custer wrestlers showed up in half of the 14 weight classes.
Scott was rated fourth at 106, Tray Weiss was also ranked fourth at 113, Sander was 12th at 120, Landon Woodward came in second at 126, Pierce Sword was ninth at 132, Jonathan Lewis was ranked fifth at 160 and Parker Noem was rated seventh in the 170- pound weight class.
When asked for reaction to the rankings Webster said, “if everything goes well and we stay healthy we can hopefully see some great results at the end of the season.”
Webster said the trip to Gregory gave him an opportunity to see some things he needed to spend time working on in the practice room. He said he saw several wrestlers make progress with regard to the habit of rushing moves but he also noted some didn’t take advantage of opportunities to score.  
Before their Christmas break the Custer team will  spend a lot of time on the mat over the next three days.
On Thursday the team hits the road for the Belle Fourche Triangular where they will also meet Lead-Deadwood. Then on Friday it’s off to Hot Springs for a dual quad featuring Lyman, Miller-Highmore-Harrold and Bennett County. The team will be back in the Springs on Saturday for the Hot Springs Holiday Extravaganza.
When asked whether there would be any more opportunities for his wrestlers to be in competition over the two-week holiday school break, Webster replied, “Not yet.”


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